At the beginning of the year, my fandom group requested themed programs. While an awesome suggestion and one that many fandom clubs have implemented with success, it failed miserably at my program because they just wanted to talk about what they wanted to talk about. Teens are so mercurial.
But when I was planning our Harry Potter-themed night, I didn’t know that. I thought they were expecting fireworks and grand things, so I wanted to give them at least one craft that they could take home. Since we had already made wands at our Hogwarts program in October, scarves seemed to be the natural choice.
Alas! Knitting and crocheting are definitely not my forte. If you looked me up in a Library of Congress for humans, one of my subject headings would be: fiber arts — librarians — failure. I have this half-knitted scarf-creature in my loftily-named knitting basket, but it’s been sitting there for over a year. It’s rather lopsided and has dropped stitches all over the place, lending it an instant moth-eaten charm.
I was definitely not qualified to teach the teens how to knit a scarf, and since we are quite short-staffed, no other staff members were available. I had to resort to cheating. How could I make a scarf without knitting needles or crochet hooks?
Thanks to Instructables (specifically this Instructable), I discovered that with yarn, tape, and drinking straws, you can make a scarf. The straws are a cheap and easy loom, and once you get your weaving going, it’s like slipping into a zen fugue. So relaxing. This is also a bonus if you have a rowdy group of teens.
You will need:
Plastic drinking straws
Decide how wide you want your scarf to be; the more straws you use, the wider the scarf. Measure out as many lengths of yarn as you have straws. The length of your yarn will determine the length of your scarf, so if you want a long, loopy scarf, go long.
To start, snip off the bendy parts of the straws (super-technical terminology, I know). Thread each length of yarn through the straw and secure by folding the end over the straw and taping it in place. The Instructable suggests duct tape, but that stuff is expensive and normal desk tape works just as well!
Working from the skein of yarn (AKA the yarn ball), tie your working end onto the outermost straw and weave over-under-over-under until you reach the edge of your loom. This was the hardest part for me.
Tip: I’m a very visual learner, so I looked up some videos on YouTube to see the weaving in action.
I clutched my loom in my non-dominant hand and wrestled the yarn over-under. Be sure to pull tight before reversing the weaving process. After about four rows, the straws will settle down and stop trying to jump out of your hand.
To switch colors, simply tie off your working end, tie on a new color, and repeat.
To finish, slide the scarf off of your loom and knot the loose yarns together. Trim as necessary.
Probably the most expensive part of this craft is getting the exact house colors in yarn if the communal Youth Services yarn bin a) doesn’t exist (quelle horreur!!!) or b) doesn’t have the proper house colors.
And there you have it! No-knit, easy peasy house scarves for fandom!